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  • Debra Kabinier

Genealogy Musings

Collage of genealogy pictures

Why I Became a Genealogist

Genealogy and Family History now consumes my retired life. This wasn’t true in my younger years, but in my early teen years, the stage was set.

My Great Uncle Ira and Great Aunts Christine and Julia chose me to carry on the family history when I was 12 or 13 years old. I was their oldest great niece and my favorite subject was history – making me the perfect person to carry on the Fowler family history. Since my family visited Ira, Christine, and Julia every week, they had plenty of opportunities to share their stories with me.

During the summers, I would spend time with Christine and Julia. Dad dropped me off at their home on his way to work. Christine and Julia made the days special for me. We had a nice breakfast of their homemade bread, made research plans for our visit to the Trumbull County Library, and packed lunches to eat at the city park.

The Trumbull County Library was quite old. The second floor held old newspapers and books - but was off limits to patrons. The flooring was bowing, and management was worried additional weight might lead to its collapse.

Aunt Christine instructed me on the use of a card catalog. We searched for information about the Fowler family and Fowler Township. The librarian gathered our requested information from the second floor. I transcribed the information into a notebook. Looking back at that notebook and my teenager handwriting, I immediately noticed my rookie mistake – no citations!

I visited Christine and Julia five or six times that summer. Several times their older sister, Great Aunt Marion, joined us. Marion had different stories because she was the oldest daughter of their family.

My father continued the genealogy work for the Fowler and Yeager sides of the families while I attended college, raised a family, and built my career. Dad completed many pedigree charts and family group sheets, collected pictures, and interviewed many people over three decades. When I retired – Dad’s genealogy work became mine.

In the 12 years since my retirement, I immersed myself in genealogy. It is a fun and interesting hobby. I learn something every day.

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